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Animalistic Macbeth

Satisfactory Essays
“Animalistic” is of or pertaining to animalism, and animalism is the doctrine that humans are merely animals with no spiritual nature. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the character Macbeth is so often associated with animals because he has the mind of an animal. Macbeth is connected to animals in the sense that he cannot understand simple things and neither can animals. Macbeth becomes inhumane and loses his human nature, similar to the witches who remain inhumane throughout the entire play. Shakespeare includes so many references to animals in the witches’ lines to reinforce the idea that they do unnatural things humans would not ordinarily do, and they are animalistic characters. By examining Shakespeare’s use of animal imagery one can determine that the characters of Macbeth and the witches are so often associated with animals because they have animalistic qualities.

To illustrate, the character of Macbeth has the mind of an animal. In one of Macbeth’s quotes, he says, “O, full of scorpions is my mind dear wife!” (pg. 77) This quote of his has Macbeth referring to scorpions in his mind, meaning that he is filled with evil and malicious thoughts and plans. Macbeth connects himself to an animal, and literally tells readers that his mind is “full of scorpions.” Macbeth has a character change throughout the play; he started out as normal, per say, but he changes and is reduced to an animalistic nature.

Alternatively, both the characters of Macbeth and animals cannot understand simple things, connecting them to each other. Shakespeare gives Macbeth a line referring to an animal again, and Macbeth says, “Throw physic to the dogs, I’ll none of it, (pg.141). In this quote Macbeth dismisses the practice of studying the mind, “physic...

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Finally, by examining Shakespeare’s use of animal imagery one can determine that the characters of Macbeth and the witches are so often associated with animals because they have animalistic qualities. As was previously stated, Macbeth’s mindset is similar to that of an animal. Macbeth also has difficulty understanding simple things, once again connecting him to an animal. Both the characters of the witches and Macbeth are portrayed as inhumane by their actions, and are so evil that they stand out from the rest of society as such. To conclude, the character of the witches are so animalistic that they cannot be human, and they commit acts humans would not normally do. The characters of Macbeth and the witches fit the definition of “animalistic,” which is proved by their repeated evil, inhuman, and animalistic actions.

Works Cited

Shakespeare, Macbeth
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